Washington Hospital service workers voting on possible strike

| Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 2:42 p.m.

More than 400 service workers at Washington Hospital were voting Monday on whether to approve a strike over a new labor pact, the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania union said.

SEIU members said the hospital's proposals for a new contract would put health insurance out of reach for many hospital workers, cut wages for dietary and housekeeping workers by $4 a hour, and reduce protections for workers on medical leave.

Vote totals were not received by Monday's newspaper deadline.

Officials at the 274-bed nonprofit hospital declined to comment. The hospital employs 1,812 people, including the union work force.

The union has been negotiating a new contract since early this month. The current contract expires Thursday.

Separately, the United Steelworkers union said on Monday that workers at four Armstrong County Memorial Hospital health clinics will ask the Kittaning hospital's board of directors give the workers a fair contract.

The board meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the hospital. The union represents 26 workers at four clinics and have been working without a contract for more than a year.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

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